When you look for a good hardshell, you’re looking not only for something that will protect you from the wind and the rain, but also something that’s comfortable, breathable, and that will pack away easily. The Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket – which is available in men's and women's versions – does the impressive task of ticking all of these boxes in one fell swoop.
Good looking and as practical as it gets, the Interstellar Jacket may have nothing to do with the space-based Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey film of the same name, but it is a jacket which is (metaphorically speaking, of course) out of this world.
This release, according to Outdoor Research is the lightest, most breathable three-layer hard shell they've ever produced, and to top it off, it has a real stretch to it meaning that you can be kept dry without having your movement limited.
It really moves with you. Not just thanks to its stretchy AscentShell fabric, but also the clever underarm panels which are purpose-built to allow full reach without the bottom of the jacket creeping up and moving uncomfortably.
This innovative fabric and design makes the Interstellar ideal not only for walking and hiking but also for climbing and trail running as well. Realistically speaking, the last thing you want to be worrying about when you’re doing any of the above is adjusting the jacket you’re wearing, or worrying about the conditions getting through it, and the Interstellar is a bit of kit that will very much let you concentrate on the job at hand. It really is a technical bit of kit.
"Good looking and as practical as it gets, the Interstellar Jacket... is out of this world"
Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket
More info: ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk
Other design details include a fully adjustable helmet-compatible hood that will move with your head when you turn it, elasticated cuffs that also have a Velcro tab closure, an internal storm flap behind the main zip, and a chest pocket and handwarmers – all with waterproof zips.
When you don't need it, the whole thing can be packed away into the left hand pocket making for a neat package that won't be a burden to carry in your pack.
All-in-all this is a hell of an option from Outdoor Research. The Interstellar is a jacket which you can trust, no matter what the circumstances.
Stuart Kenny - Associate Editor at Mpora
I had the pleasure of testing out the Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket over a few days of hiking near Kingussie, in the Scottish Highlands, and it was exactly that – a pleasure.
The jacket is incredibly lightweight. You can tell right-from-the-off that the material is high quality, and the on-skin feel is really comfortable. I was a little skeptical over whether I’d be able to notice the “real stretch” but it is really practical and you have notable freedom of movement, which is particularly useful when scrambling or climbing.
The Interstellar packs away into a medium sized package – you stuff the jacket away into the left pocket then zip – which will fit no problem into any rucksack, though it may not leave the much room in some smaller trail running packs.
All round though it’s a really well built jacket. Something which feels like it’s been built to last.